RIBA Stirling Prize Winners: How Prize-Worthy Are They?

The Scottish Parliament, winner in 2005 has experienced multiple problems. Image © Dave Morris Photography

With Astley Castle winning this year’s Stirling Prize last week, Olly Wainwright investigates the fortunes of other Stirling Prize winners – finding that in many cases critical acclaim and awards do not necessarily translate to long term success. His study brings into question what qualities should be awarded, and seems to imply that there should be a greater focus on post-occupancy awards, such as the 10-year award started by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) this year, and another being considered by the RIBA. You can read Wainwright’s full investigation here.

Twelve Architects to Design Airport in Russia for 2018 World Cup

Courtesy of Twelve Architects & Masterplanners

London-based Twelve Architects & Masterplanners have won a competition to deliver a radical new for Rostov, Russia, just in time for the 2018 World Cup.

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The Never-Before-Seen Interviews from Helvetica/Objectified/Urbanized

In his three-part documentary series, composed of the films Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized, Gary Hustwit explored the effect that has on our everyday life. However, in the process of making these documentaries, he only used about 3% of the interview footage he collected. Now he has launched a kickstarter campaign to fund a book that will make his 100 hours of interview footage available in its entirety. Click here to back his project and make this book a reality.

In Tokyo, A Vertical Farm Inside and Out

Courtesy of Kono Designs

As young people migrate to cities in ever growing numbers, so grows the concern for the future of agriculture. Prototypes for urban/vertical farms have been developed and, considering projected urban growth, seem a likely forecast for our future.

In the offices of Pasona, the future has already arrived. The Tokyo based recruitment agency has dedicated 20% of their 215,000 square foot office to growing fresh vegetables, making it the largest urban farm in .

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How Vienna Designs Gender Equality Into the City Itself

Via Flickr. Image © Peter M

An interesting article in The Atlantic Cities reveals the ideas behind “gender mainstreaming” in Vienna, a policy that began in the early 1990s and has had a huge effect on the past two decades of city planning there. Initially intended specifically to make the city more livable for women, the principles have proven so successful that they now form a part of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme’s best practices. You can read the full article here.

Between the Buildings of Historic Amsterdam, An Urban Intervention

’s famous canal district celebrated its 400th birthday this year. And though the district has grown and evolved throughout the centuries, now, more than ever before, this UNESCO World Heritage site is struggling with how to ensure the past doesn’t hold a vice-like grip on its future.

For Jarrik Ouburg, an Amsterdam architect, the problem was more specific: in such a historic district, how do you keep urban transformations from slowing to a stop? This question eventually led him to his ongoing project, “Tussen-ruimte.”  Tussen-ruimte (Dutch for ‘between space’) installs pieces of contemporary art and architecture in the hidden alleys and courtyards that have formed over years of building in the canal district.

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Behind the Green Door: The Experts Interviews Part II

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The Oslo Architecture Triennale opened to the public last week, under the title “Behind the Green Door – Architecture and the desire for sustainability”. Rotor, the curators of the Triennale, collected over 600 objects carrying claims of sustainability from over 200 architecture offices, companies and environmental organizations across the world (read our interview with Rotor about the curation).

Experts from different fields share with us which the objects from the collection caught their attention and why. In this second and final part, Nanne de Ru (Powerhouse Company, Director of the Berlage Institute), Arild Eriksen and Joakim Skajaa (Eriksen Skajaa), Andres Lepik (Director of the Münich Architecture Museum), Nanna Bjerre Hjortenberg (The Danish Architecture Center), Willem Bruijn (Partner, Baumschlager Eberle) and Gilles Perraudin (Perraudin Architectes) tell us their what they think. From co-housing utopias, to a hospital that tries to stand over time due to its design and more. 

The Triennale is open until December 1st, full programme here. Check the rest of the below:

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2013 LEAF Award Winners Announced

The Marsan Mediatheque, overall winner of the 2013 LEAF . Image Courtesy of archi5

Now in its tenth year, the Emirates Glass LEAF Awards honor the architects designing the buildings and solutions that are setting the benchmark for the international architectural community. Founded in 2001, the competition is organized by the Leading European Architects Forum (LEAF) and recognizes innovative architectural . 17 different awards were given to various projects and architects, with one overall winner. Check out the winners after the break…

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AIA Puts Resiliency on the Agenda: “Resilience Is the New Green”

At the Clinton Global Initiative (l to r) Robert Ivy, FAIA; New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; Cameron Sinclair, co-founder ; Former U.S. President Bill Clinton; Martyn Parker, Chairman Global Partnerships at Swiss Re; Alex Karp, co-founder Palantir; Judith Rodin, Ph.D, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. Image Courtesy of

The AIA has decidedly found its latest buzz word: Resiliency.

Just this week at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, former-president Bill Clinton announced the American Institute of Architects’ participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Commitment: an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation to provide 100 cities with “chief resilience offers,” responsible for developing and financing new, resilient urban infrastructures. So far, over 500 cities have requested to participate; on December 3rd, the Rockefeller Foundation will announce the winning cities.

Along with Architecture for Humanity, the AIA will then train those cities’ resilience officers, “architects in their communities,” by creating “five Regional Resilient Design Studios that build on our profession’s collective expertise in helping communities recover in the wake of major disasters.”

But the “resilience” doesn’t stop there.

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Weston Williamson Wins Brasilia Stadium Competition with Responsive Arena

Courtesy of bdonline, via Weston Williamson

-based studio Weston Williamson has been announced the winner of the Brasilia Athletics Stadium competition. The international competition, associated with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, called for designers to envision a 70,000 seat stadium in the nation’s capital.

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Behind the Green Door: The Experts Interviews Part I

YouTube Preview Image

The Oslo Architecture Triennale opened to the public last week, under the title “Behind the Green Door – Architecture and the desire for sustainability”. Rotor, the curators of the Triennale, collected over 600 objects carrying claims of sustainability from over 200 architecture offices, companies and environmental organizations across the world (read our interview with Rotor about the curation).

Experts from different fields share with us which the objects from the collection caught their attention and why. In this first part Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (Snøhetta co-founder), Carolyn Steel (architect, author of The Hungry City and TED speaker), Karl Otto Ellefsen (Dean of Oslo School of Architecture and Design) and Arjen Oosterman (ARCHIS, Volume Magazine) tell us their what they think. From glass technology to filter light, to locally produced food and more.

The Triennale is open until December 1st, full programme here. Check the rest of the below:

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Astley Castle Wins the 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize

2013 Winner: Astley Castle, Nuneaton, Warwickshire / Witherford Watson Mann. Image © Helene Binet

The 2013 RIBA Stirling Prize has been won by Witherford Watson Mann for Astley Castle (Nuneaton, Warwickshire). The winner was just announced at a ceremony at London’s Central Saint Martins, a building designed by last year’s winner Stanton Williams. Astley Castle was also voted as BBC readers’ favourite earlier this week. Jury-member Stephen Hodder stated that “engaging with the building was such a surprise for [the jury],” and described it as an ”unassuming” building with great “rigour.”

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VIDEO: Ruth and Richard Rogers’ London Home

 

In one of the latest short films from Nowness, director Matthew Donaldson explores the home of Ruth and Richard Rogers in London’s Chelsea. What appears to be a typical Georgian terrace from the outside, complete with “a resplendent facade in London brick with uniform windows and smart stucco”, opens up into a bold, colourful and homely series of internal spaces that could only belong to .

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SOM Gets Behind Wooden Skyscraper Design

Courtesy of ArchDaily

Although known for their iconic of glass and steel, SOM has begun to redefine our idea of the high-rise by pushing for wood as an alternative material for tall buildings. Not only could it help solve the worldwide problem of housing for those who are or will live in cities, but wooden skyscrapers could also address climate change by reducing a building’s carbon footprint. Click here to read about the structural system that has come up with and don’t check out our previous coverage on the equally fascinating Timber Tower Research Project!

A Sincere Interview with Zaha Hadid

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects

With the opening of her latest London project, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Hyde Park, Xan Brooks of the Guardian conducted this interview with the enigmatic Zaha Hadid. They discuss some of her greatest successes (The MAXXI museum) and some of the contentious issues around some of her buildings (Galaxy Soho, for example) – before moving on to her approach to designing for oppressive regimes (yes, “if it helps people”) and finally her apprehension over a return trip to Iraq, the homeland which she has not returned to in over 30 years. You can read the full article here.

Gehry’s Walt Disney Hall Turns 10

Courtesy of Archdaily

It’s been called a “remarkable work of public architecture” that “engages [the city of] Los Angeles” like few others. With the 10 year anniversary of Frank Gehry‘s Walt Disney Concert Hall approaching, the LA Times, with some great, in-depth coverage, has been taking a look back at its architecture and what makes it such an important icon for both Gehry and LA. Oh, and don’t forget to check out its soon-to-be neighbor on Grand Avenue, the Broad Museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro!

NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Lauds “Exciting” New Building

Courtesy of BKSK Architects

Landmarks Preservation Commissioner Fred Bland proclaimed it to be the most exciting building ever proposed during his tenure.

The proposal for the six-story, 34,000 square foot building on the intersection of Broadway and Spring Street in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District in New York City, designed by BKSK Architects, sits on a $147.9 million site. Prominent developers purchased the site in December of 2012, setting a per-buildable-square-foot record for SoHo retail. Their early intent of demolishing the existing building and constructing a new one garnered significant opposition. That is, till they revealed what was to replace it.

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Shortlist Unveiled for London’s new Scotland Yard

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Image Courtesy of Greater Authority (GLA)

The RIBA and the Mayor of London’s Office has revealed the five shortlisted designs for the new Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) headquarters, set for completion in 2015. The proposed designs, attracting submissions from Foster + Partners, Allies & Morrison, Keith Williams Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, will be located in the Whitehall Conservation Area and be renamed back to ‘Scotland Yard’.

Read more after the break…

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